Tropfest success for new Billy Blue graduate where underground bugs are the stars

22 February 2018

Just one year after completing his study, Billy Blue College of Design graduate Tristan Klein has taken out second place at this year’s Tropfest with a film about ‘a filthy underground bar, full of filthy underground bugs’

The passionate animator and his childhood friend, Nick Baker, Directed and Produced the seven-minute comedy Rock Bottom, completing it just before the Tropfest entry deadline. Tristan and Nick’s self-funded film was well received by the Tropfest audience, including Hollywood star judges Susan Sarandon and Rachel Griffiths. Social media commentary has suggested Rock Bottom was a favourite amongst the thousands of movie buffs in attendance at Parramatta Park on the weekend.

Tristan credits his Digital Media studies at Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia for developing his ability to think conceptually, which was vital in bringing Rock Bottom to life.

In fact, it was during a course assignment at Billy Blue that Tristan started developing his first highly successful film The Wall, narrated by AFI Award winner David Wenham and sparked by Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. The film was nominated for a 2017 AACTA Award for Short Animation, was a finalist for the Yoram Gross Animation Award at Sydney Film Festival 2017 and won Best Visual Effects at last year’s Tropfest.

Tristan is currently working in web and app design and research, and engaging with industry experts on future film opportunities.

Want to learn how to create visual masterpieces like Tristan's? Check out our Digital Media courses here

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